As for any break of momentum, deciding to become a runner is more difficult than becoming one. Once a decision to enter the Active Lifestyle world (through running) has been committed to, follow this very simple plan to call yourself a runner. It is assumed you are fit to run and start from zero.
*First step: buy some running shoes in a Running Specialty Store. Pay attention to how your shoes feel more than cost.
Commitment: 15 minutes work-out per day, 5 days a week, 3 months. If you can't commit to it, you need to work on your ability to commit.
Many "3 months" went by since you were born. The next 3 are going to be very different. You'll end up calling yourself a runner.
*First day: walk 10 minutes. Whenever you feel warmed-up, run for 10 seconds. See how it feels. Walk the rest of your session.
*First week: the next day, run 15 seconds instead of 10. On the 3rd day, run 20 seconds and add 5 seconds for day 4 and 5. It may sound absurd to run 10 or 20 seconds, it isn't. The most difficult physiological adjustment is between zero to a steady state. Your non-runner body needs time to adjust and we are only working on the initial ramp up. This is not about running, it's about a whole lot of physiological adjustments.
*Second week: gradually increase. Goal: 1 minute run at the end of the week.
If it feels too slow, be careful. You are getting out everyday. This is already a huge change! Speed and distance will come with time. Increasing them is very easy. If you feel sore, skip a day. If you feel the progression is too slow, adjust accordingly but remember, we tend to overdo in the beginning and quickly slack off when the initial stages are behind. You are sending a lot of new signals to your brain and it is making millions of adjustments. This is not an intervention or a shock therapy but a very slow and gradual slide toward fitness. Your body will be thankful you gave it time to adjust!
*Third week to 3 months: add a minute of running every week and walk at the first sign of discomfort.
The notion of "No pain, no gain" is a scientific absurdity. In Medecine, pain is a warning signal, not a sign of improvement or adjustment. Consistency and gradual increase is the recipe for success.
End week 3 running 2 minutes straight. End week 6 running 5 minutes without stopping.
From week 3 on, it is more difficult to have a blanket approach. How you feel is the driving biofeedback to increase or shorten the length of time you are running. Speed is irrelevant at this stage. If it is difficult for you, slow down, or rest more. If you feel right, increase the time or the speed slightly and listen to how your body reacts. Soreness = you may be overdoing it. Pain = you are overdoing it and you have an adjustment to make.
Progress according to your SENSATIONS and I guarantee you will sign up for your first 5K within a year, lose weight naturally, reinforce your musculoskeletal system, improve your breathing and your overall health.
When there is a will, there is way even at 5 seconds increments.
Your daily outdoor routine will bring more than running, it will bring you a healthy break, 15 minutes of fresh air and good sensations. Stick to your plan. Not only you will become a runner, you will become a runner who feels great!
Of course, make sure your Doctor clears you before starting an exercise regimen.
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